The Mississippi DUI non-adjudication process is an excellent way for qualified individuals who have been charged with drunk driving to avoid a permanent conviction. There are many steps involved and you have to meet specific criteria, so let’s take a look at how this law works.
Non-adjudication has been available in Mississippi for many years on criminal cases such as drug possession, fraud, theft and domestic assault. DUI and other traffic offenses were specifically excluded from non-adjudication, but that has changed with new laws. DUIs in Mississippi are now eligible to be non-adjudicated.
Non-adjudication is where you plead guilty to a charge but are not convicted. Judgment is withheld, you go on probation for a period of time, then the charge gets dismissed and you can have it expunged from your record.
For drunk driving cases you have to qualify, which means you cannot have previously used non-adjudication or been convicted of a crime. Also, non-adjudication is at the discretion of the judge. This is where your attorney can advocate for you to make sure you are presented in the best light and considered for this special treatment.
Under non-adjudication you have to pay fines and court costs up front (typically around $1,000 in Desoto County courts), plead guilty, then go on probation for six months. You have to complete Mississippi’s alcohol safety program and a attend victim impact panel.
After the successful completion of probation you go back to court and the charge gets dismissed. You may then petition the court for expunction of the charge and arrest off your record.
Remember, not everyone qualifies for this program. It’s best to start with a Mississippi DUI lawyer who will go to court with you and petition on your behalf to get you started. Later, your attorney can prepare the necessary documents to have the matter expunged from your record.
For more information, contact Southaven DUI lawyer Patrick Stegall at 901-205-9894 or firstname.lastname@example.org